08/09/2011 02:43 pm ET | Updated Oct 09, 2011

Going the Extra Smile: Project Connects World Through Grins (VIDEO)

"I don't know what I can do to help others" is a response I often hear when people have been inspired by GoInspireGo stories but do not understand their individual power.

Sometimes I simply quote Glinda the Good Witch, from "The Wizard of Oz": speaking to Dorothy, she says, "You've always had the power to go back to Kansas."

This simple, reinforcing quote applies to all of us. We've always had the power to live better, be better and then do better for others.

For everyone who has ever doubted your ability to make a positive impact, no matter what your socioeconomic background, gender or creed may be, just watch this video, and meet Claire Lemmel, someone who instantly puts a smile on your face and who has discovered the true meaning of joy. Smile...

You're probably grinning from ear to ear after watching this video. That's good, because if you are, it's already benefitting your health. Many studies, including one from the University of California, Berkeley, show that simply smiling boosts the immune system, increases positive affect, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and enhances other people's perception of you -- plus, it's easy, fun and contagious.

According to Positive Psychology News Daily:

The eyes and lips are a powerful weapon that everyone is equipped with at birth. When used for good, this weapon can exert a significant amount of health and happiness on the smiler and recipient. So become the center of a positive change ripple. Squeeze your zigomatic major, squint your orbicularis oculi, and if you really want to get things flowing ... expose your teeth.

So share this video with your frowny friends, and smile with what yo' momma gave you.

I believe I've found one answer to the common question, "I don't know how I can help others. What can I do?" Witness Claire's joy, listen to Glinda, and simply start smiling. Discover your own yellow brick road and think about what you can do to make someone smile today. Onward!

For more information about Claire's Connect project, visit

A special thanks to Megan Wegmann for her amazing energy and help with the videography.

Photo courtesy of William Wong